Periyar Lake Thekkady Entry Fee
- 225 per person for Adults
- 75 per person for Children
- 25 for Still Camera
- 200 for Video Camera
Periyar Lake Thekkady Phone
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Periyar Lake Thekkady Address: 4 kms from Kumili, District Idukki, Thekkady, Kerala, 685536, India
Kerala Tour Packages
Periyar Lake Thekkady Timings
|Monday||7:30 am – 5:00 pm|
|Tuesday||7:30 am – 5:00 pm|
|Wedesday||7:30 am – 5:00 pm|
|Thursday||7:30 am – 5:00 pm|
|Friday||7:30 am – 5:00 pm|
|Saturday||7:30 am – 5:00 pm|
|Sunday||7:30 am – 5:00 pm|
Boating Timings: 7:30 am to 9:00 am; 9:30 am to 11:00 am; 11:15 am to 12:45 pm; 1:45 pm to 3:15 pm; 3:30 pm to 5:00 pmLinks: Website | Map
One of the most famous lakes in Kerala is in Periyar. The Periyar Lake is often also referred to as the Thekkady Lake. However, its unmistakable location inside the Periyar National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary has ensured that it’s widely known by the name of Periyar Lake. Governed by the Kerala Forest and Wildlife Department, the lake sees footfalls of hundreds of thousands each year.
Interestingly, this lake was created artificially when Kerala’s longest river, Periyar or Mullaperiyar, was dammed in 1895. The Mullaperiyar Dam formed the present day Periyar Lake which is spread across 10 square miles or 26 square kilometres.
This reservoir is famous for its water birds which can be observed from close quarters when you go boating on the lake. Periyar Lake is inside a protected area and contributes to the conservation of plants, fowl, fish and wild animals, some of which are rare, endemic and also endangered.
Periyar Lake Timings & Fee for Boating
Although the timings for boating in the Periyar Lake and its charges are separate from that of the Periyar National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary, one has to first enter the national park to be able to access the lake. Therefore, you pay two sets of entry fees and adhere to both the timings.
The park is open in all seasons from 6 AM to 7 PM every day. For Indians, the entry fee is INR 45 for adults and INR 15 for kids, whereas for foreigners, the fee is INR 500 for adults and INR 180 for kids. Additionally, still cameras are charged INR 38 and video cameras, INR 300. Binoculars are available on rent at INR 50, with a 100-rupee security deposit. These come particularly handy in sighting birds and animals that are far off.
Now, the Periyar Lake levies a charge of INR 225 for adults and INR 75 for children for each boat ride which lasts for an hour and a half. There are designated timings for boating: 7:30 AM, 9:30 AM, 11:15 AM, 1:45 PM and 3:30 PM. Mornings are recommended for birders whereas afternoon slots are highly conducive to sightings of wild animals who reach the lake to quench their thirst.
History Behind the Periyar Lake
While the Periyar National Park goes far back in time, the lake has its own history. In 1895, the Mullaperiyar Dam was built over the Periyar River. A few years later, in 1899, the Periyar Lake Reserve was formed through the efforts of this masonry gravity dam. The lake remained mostly untouched while the surrounding forested area saw a slew of change in ownership and status from that of a private game reserve to a wildlife sanctuary, and to finally a national park.
Layout of Periyar Lake
The Periyar Lake is located at the centre of the Periyar National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary. It covers a total area of 10 square miles or 26 square kilometres. The lake has the lowest altitude in the Periyar forest complex, at 100 metres above the sea level.
This lake is the final drainage reservoir for the Periyar River, which is the longest in Kerala. Also the Mullayar River can be said to be a contributor to the waters of the Periyar Lake as it is also dammed by the Mullaperiyar Dam which sits at the confluence of both the rivers.
The waters of the Periyar Lake further drain out to the state of Tamil Nadu and partially to the Kerala district of Idukki, through the Idukki Dam which fills the Idukki Lake.
Image Gallery of Periyar Lake Thekkady
Things to do at Periyar Lake
Periyar Lake allows for a number of interesting activities, some of which are as follows:
1. Take the 7:30 AM boat ride which runs until 9 in the morning. This is an opportune time to sight local and migratory birds which begin their activities for the day.
2. If you book the 1:45 PM boat ride, it might be a little too hot for comfort, but you will significantly increase your chances of spotting tigers and elephants which come out of their hiding places in the forest to sip on water or take a bath or just soak themselves in the pleasant lake for some respite from the afternoon heat.
3. Watch out for the amphibians, best spotted on boat rides in the Periyar Lake! Caecilians, frogs and toads are plentiful, especially when you float around the banks. Spot endemic species such as the bicoloured Malabar frog, the Malabar gliding frog (a type of flying rhacophorid tree frog) and the Malabar Hills fungoid frog which are only found in the Western Ghats. The Asian Toad is also notable.
4. The Periyar Lake is home to 40 species of fish. You will be lucky to find the Periyar barb, a cyprinid fish endemic to this lake, the Periyar latia, only seen in the Periyar River, the Periyar trout, endemic to Kerala, the Channa barb, endemic to India, and the Travancore loach.
5. Birdwatching might be slightly difficult but is still possible in the lake through binoculars. Keep your eyes peeled for the steppe gull, the black-necked stork, the great hornbill and the Malabar grey hornbill.
Places to Visit near Periyar Lake
There are several places of interest not only near the lake but also immediately encompassing it. Depending on the time you have at your disposal, explore these beautiful options near Periyar Lake:
1. Periyar National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary: Surrounding the lake, Periyar National Park is a famous tiger reserve and elephant sanctuary which also has a wonderful collection of other animals and plants. Even bird watchers can have a great time sighting a lot of indigenous and migratory birds that dwell here. The national park is open on all days of the week from 6 AM to 7 PM. You can also look forward to the night safari which starts at 8 PM, for spotting nocturnal birds and animals. Adult entry fee is INR 45 for Indian nationals.
2. Thekkady: This tea-garden town is only a few minutes’ drive from Periyar Lake. Popular for spices and tea, Thekkady is situated in the Idukki district, straddling the Pandalam and Cardamom hills. While in this tourist hub, don’t forget to see Thekkady Rose Park, a botanical garden dedicated to roses. The entry fee is only INR 50 per person. The park is a fun picnic destination for those travelling with their family, especially with kids in tow. The park has an adventure package, offering child-safe rides priced economically at INR 500 per family. Regale in activities such as bungee jumping, boating and more.
3. Parunthumpara Hill View Point: Another gem in the Idukki district of Kerala, Parunthumpara is a hilltop which takes an hour to drive up to. Just before you reach the top, you can park your four-wheeler or two-wheeler and take on the rest of the journey on foot. The promenade that leads to the top affords lovely views of the mountains, valleys and even waterfalls in the monsoon. There are also several handcarts and stalls that sell a variety of street snacks and quick meals to hungry walkers along the way. Walking here is quite safe as the trail is barricaded, so you won’t fall.
4. Mullaperiyar Dam: The dam that gives the Periyar Lake its water is certainly worth a visit! The Mullaperiyar Dam is a stone-masonry dam, powered by gravity. The Periyar River feeds the dam which measures 1,200 feet in length and about 138 feet in width. The water flows out of this dam through 13 chute spillways, with a collective capacity of 4,518 cubic yards per second. The water level is at most 142 feet deep, with variations in its depth at different points. Mullaperiyar dam is divided into a main dam and a subordinate dam with a total capacity of 443,230,000 cubic metres.
5. Kakki Reservoir: If you are a fan of water bodies, it will be useful to make the 8 km drive to Kakki Reservoir inside the Ranni Reserve Forest. Only 15 minutes from Periyar Lake, this reservoir contributes its water to the Pamba River through the Kakki tributary. The reservoir itself draws its waters from the Kakki tributary which is dammed by Kakki Dam and Anathode Dam. The place is highly recommended for family picnics.
6. Sabarimala: Religious tourists can look forward to their pilgrimage to the Sabarimala temple complex. The most popular Hindu temple in South India, Sabarimala is located atop the eponymous hill. The place is quite scenic as it is covered by a number of hills on all sides, offering glimpses into their forests also. The main deity inside this temple is Ayyappan. According to Hindu mythology, he took up celibacy as a lifestyle.
7. Suruli Falls: A slightly longer drive form Periyar Lake will bring you to Suruli Falls. Over 50 kilometres from the lake, this cascading waterfall is a sight to behold. Suruli Fall starts from the Meghamalai mountain range from the Suruli River, and has a total height of 150 feet. There are two steps to these falls, the first fall collects into a pool at a height of 40 feet, and then falls again.
8. Mangala Devi Kannagi Temple: Some tourists can never have enough of Hindu temples. That is why we recommend a 10 km drive to Mangala Devi Kannagi Temple. Situated about 1,337 metres above sea level, this Hindu temple lets in devotees only during the Chitra Pournami festival. It is alleged that the temple was built more than 2,000 years ago during the reign of Cheran Chenguttuvan in ancient Tamilakam. Since you’ll be driving up quite a bit from Periyar Lake, ensure you make this trip only when you are sure you can enter.
How to Reach Periyar Lake
Periyar Lake is located inside the Periyar National Park & Wildlife Sanctuary. There is no dearth of modes to arrive at this lake in Kerala. We list out some of the most feasible. However, you should make your choice as per your affordability and convenience.
By Air: Madurai Airport is the nearest airport to Periyar Lake. However, this is in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. A 4-hour road journey should get you here after you land. The shortest route is approximately 150 kilometres long. If you would rather arrive directly in Kerala, book your flight to Cochin International Airport. The car ride will be about 4.5 hours long as it traverses a distance of 170 kilometres.
By Train: While air travel is the most expensive, trains can be quite easy on the pocket, especially if you can forgo the air-conditioned coaches and settle for a sleeper or general coach. To reach Periyar Lake by train, book your ticket till the Kottayam Station which is about 3 hours away. This is still the nearest railway station, at over 100 kilometres. Depending on the city or town you are journeying from, you might have to change trains as Kottayam is one of the smaller railway stations of Kerala.
By Car: Many people prefer to drive all the way to Periyar Lake, no matter which state of India they are travelling from. If you decide to bring your car along, factor in the expenses for fuel, meals, night halts and even garage stops. Kerala’s roads are a pleasure to drive along on, but car rides can get quite expensive and time consuming. On the positive side, you arrive in comfort, especially if your car has good ground clearance and fancy cabin amenities. You can also book a cab to avoid the hassle of having to drive by yourself.
While inter-city and inter-state buses happen to be another option, they can only get you as far as a town junction. You will again have to arrange for a car to get you to your final destination. Overnight bus journeys can be rather uncomfortable through winding roads and due to speeding. You might also have to change buses as they only run point to point, stopping at important halts on the way.
One of the most comfortable ways to reach the lake is by hiring a private cab from top car rental companies in Kerala. It offers comfort without burning a hole in your pocket.
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